Freelance Journalist Focus: Alice Griffin

FeaturesExec catches up with freelance journalist Alice Griffin in this week’s focus interview:

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Mostly I write about travel with a focus on travelling with children and as a family. I also occasionally write articles about green/eco-living and women’s interest.

Where are we likely to see your work?
I have written features for and appeared in various print publications: Spain magazine, Living Abroad, Real Travel, Babyworld, Dogs Today (travelling with my pooch!) and Smallholder.

My first book ~ Tales from a Travelling Mum ~ was published in November 2009 and I am currently working on my second book ~ Tales of Inspirational Travellers, due to be published November 2010.

I also write the bimonthly Travel Sense column for Mumsense, a high-end family lifestyle magazine and the Woman Zone column for the Spanish Sun Newspaper, in which I also review health and beauty products.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Working for a UK-based tourist-guide in my twenties. I was able to travel the world on my own and write about it, which for me is kind of heaven! It is so memorable because not only did it indulge my passion for travel, but it strengthened me as a person. After some crazy experiences such as driving across the Canadian Rockies in the depths of winter and finding my way around Bangkok in a car, I felt ready for anything that life could throw at me!

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
Anything that would provide an adventurous and exciting travel experience/education for all the family in a really amazing part of the world.

Dogsledding in Alaska, going on safari in Africa, family backpacking and visiting yoga retreats in India … these are all features/interviews I would love to do!

I’m a huge advocate for exposing children to many cultures and activities from a young age rather than thinking you can’t take them with you, so anything that challenges us as parents, but that also exposes children to this great and diverse world, is appealing.

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
From my own trips and also from talking directly to travel PRs.

How can PRs be useful to you?
PRs are indispensable in my line of work as they bring new products and destinations to my attention that I might not ordinarily be aware of.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
I like to be updated with email press releases with anything that they think may be of interest to me.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
If it is something absolutely relevant to something I am writing or could form the basis of a fabulous feature, then I do find them useful.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I don’t like to be bombarded with information – just stuff that is really relevant to my work.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I would be a yoga teacher or work with horses – both of which I still hope to do alongside being a writer!

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
On flights for my family and I to Bangkok so that we can do some backpacking and island-hopping with an almost three-year-old – I think this would make an interesting feature!

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
On my bedside table right now:

The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
The Kindness of Strangers – Kate Adie

Nothing book-related in my bag apart from a notepad and pen to jot down general observations and the early notes of my new book, but I’ve just ordered Hitching Rides with Buddha by Will Ferguson. I have a soft spot for Japan as it was one of my first big trips and I’m looking forward to reading this book.

Blogs on my screen – too many to mention, but anything to do with travel, living abroad, sustainable living, crafty pastimes and writing. A couple of favourites are:

[img|jpg|Freelancer Alice Griffin]

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